Offshore Life Jacket
Best for open, rough or remote water, where rescue may be slow-coming.
Pros: Floats you the best. Turns most unconscious wearers face-up in water.
Highly visible color
Near-shore Buoyant Vest, Good for calm or inland water, or where there is a good chance of fast rescue
Pros: Turns some unconscious wearers face-up in the water.Less bulky, more comfortable than Type I
Cons: Not for long hours in rough water
Will not turn some unconscious wearers face-up
Flotation Aid, Good for conscious users in inland water and where there is good chance of fast rescue.
Pros: Generally the most comfortable type for continuous wear. Designed for general boating or the activity that is marked on the device. Available in many styles, including vests and flotation coats
Type IV Throwable Device
Can be thrown to someone.
Pros: Are good backup to wearable PFDs.
Cons: Not for unconscious person, non-swimmers or children. Not for many hours in rough water